The statistics around data breaches and personal information misuse are alarming. In the United States alone, there is a new victim of identity theft every two seconds. As of June 2020, at least 16 billion records (including personally identifying information, credit card numbers, and sensitive information) were breached or leaked. The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received more than 1.4 million complaints about identity theft in 2020 (up from 651,000 in 2019). More than 33 percent of Americans, according to a Proofpoint survey, claim to have experienced identity theft. IBM statistics indicate that the average cost of a data breach is almost four million USD.
During periods of fear and uncertainty, such as the COVID-19-dominated period we’re living in now, the risk for cyberattacks, such as DDoS attacks and costly data breaches increases exponentially. For some perspective, recent data shows (before coronavirus lockdowns and its unforeseen security risks hit):
Recent years have seen the creation and adoption of completely online university degree programs and free and low-cost e-learning programs, platforms and apps that help people do everything from building a marketing plan to learning a new language. Fueling this growth were investments of almost 19 billion USD in 2019 in the edtech industry, which was projected to increase to 350 billion USD by 2025.
Whether offering standard e-gov and e-services for citizenry, or scaling up to ensure maximum uptime and up-to-date information in crisis or disaster situations, every level of the public sector needs to be trusted by citizens to be dependable sources of information regardless of circumstance. As a result, public sector IT and devops departments have particularly challenging roles in keeping sites available, up-to-date and secure, 24 hours, seven days a week.